Dana White: UFC to Schedule Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Joseph Benavidez Rematch

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2020

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 18: UFC President Dana White speaks to the media during the UFC 246 event at T-Mobile Arena on January 18, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Chris Unger/Getty Images

UFC President Dana White has suggested the organisation will book an immediate rematch between Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez for the flyweight title.

Per ESPN's Marc Raimondi, White said there are several reasons to run it back after Figueiredo―who failed to make weight and couldn't win the title as a result―knocked out Benavidez at UFC Norfolk:

"I think the headbutt had a lot to do with the knockout, too. Not taking anything away from [Figueiredo]. It was a great fight. But I think you have to do that fight again.

"First of all, [Figueiredo] didn't make weight. Joe still fought him. There was a headbutt. A lot of controversy in that fight. But it was a great fight. Both guys came to fight. ... We'll do it again. They both deserve it."

NORFOLK, VA - FEBRUARY 29:  Deiveson Figueiredo is interviewed after defeating Joseph Benavidez in their flyweight championship bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Chartway Arena on February 29, 2020 in Norfolk, Virginia. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa
Josh Hedges/Getty Images

The flyweight belt remains vacant after the UFC Norfolk main event, where Figueiredo knocked out Benavidez in the second round in brutal fashion.

The finish came shortly after a cut opened up on Benavidez's head, which Brett Okamoto of ESPN thought was due to a headbutt:

Brett Okamoto @bokamotoESPN

Ohhhhh my god. Devastating right hand by Deiveson Figueiredo. Devastating. Benavidez was bleeding just before it, maybe from a head butt? Damn what a fight. Figueiredo by KO in the second.

He feared for the future of the division:

Brett Okamoto @bokamotoESPN

This is pure speculation, but definitely wonder if the flyweight division will survive if Deiveson Figueiredo wins this fight. The title would still be vacant. Unreal, really. Cejudo saves it. Now Joe B has to save it. And a flyweight (Figueiredo) is actually trying to kill it.

The two sit at the top of the flyweight rankings, a division that has struggled to gain traction for years and lost its longtime face when Demetrious Johnson parted for ONE Championship. Henry Cejudo, the man who took his belt, has moved up to bantamweight to claim the title in that division.

Jussier Formiga is the only man to beat Figueiredo in the UFC so far, but he is coming off a loss against Benavidez and is scheduled to face Brandon Moreno at UFC Fight Night 170 on March 14.

Those two are ranked third and fifth, respectively, so the winner of that fight will be in line for a shot at the new champion.


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